Oxted town guide 2015
PUBLISHED: 12:08 18 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:49 18 September 2015
Take a journey back through time via the streets of Oxted (and the original Old Oxted or nearby village of Limpsfield) and discover an attractive, bustling town with a comforting nod to the past
Originally published in A Celebration of Surrey Life
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1 The short High Street of Old Oxted, the original village located just off the A25, is exceptionally well stocked with four pubs: The Old Bell, The George Inn, The Crown Inn and The Wheatsheaf.
2 The Oxted Pram Race every July, which has been raising money for charity since 1977, takes full advantage of the hospitality. The race starts in the modern end of the town, which grew up around the railway station.
3 The Pram Race isn’t the only unusual local event, however. Keeping it in good company is the annual Donkey Derby in June – it’s another charity fund-raiser.
4 A mere 60 miles from the sea, the town is home to Oxted Offshore – its own sailing club.
5 Our county is famous for its equine heritage, but Hurst Green Shires offers a slightly more unusual experience: heavy horse riding. They also offer pub rides to The Carpenter’s Arms in Limpsfield Chart for experienced riders.
6 Purpose-built as a community theatre, The Barn was opened in 1924. It is largely constructed of timbers from a local 13th century sawmill and there are performances throughout the year.
7 Dating back to the mid-16th century, the nearby Titsey Place is one of Surrey’s largest surviving estates. Home to the Gresham family since 1534, it is now run as a charitable trust aiming to preserve the estate and open the house and gardens to the public.
8 Owned by two artists, Chauffeur’s Flat is another unique garden to visit in the area. An imaginative haven set out behind an unusual curved property that was once the motor house for the Tandridge Court Estate, it opens through the NGS.
9 One of the Fabian Society’s founder members was Edward Pease, who lived at nearby Limpsfield. Fellow intellectuals such as DH Lawrence, George Bernard Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb were amongst many who used the railway to attend Fabian gatherings in the area.
10 Limpsfield also happens to be responsible for what Sir Richard Stilgoe, a long-time local resident, calls “one of the most remarkable recordings ever made”: a BBC archive recording of local lady Beatrice Harrison playing the cello in her garden, accompanied by a nightingale singing.
A pocket guide:
Drink at: Dating from the 16th century, The Crown Inn is an independent free house with two character bars.
Eat at: Head to The Gurkha Kitchen for Nepalese or Cucina for Italian.
Stay at: The Godstone Hotel is found just along the road in neighbouring Godstone.